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Old August 22, 2012, 10:14 PM   #1
mehavey
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Annealing.... again (w/ a twist)

I've been satisfactorily annealing 30-38 caliber (308/30-06/300WinMag/375) brass for some time
now using the Hornady kit with the 475°F white Tempilaq. Brushed ¼" below the shoulder and
then heating the neck/shoulder uniformly, it seemed to give just the right mid 600's final neck
temp/effect before the 475° limit crept down the case to the lower-temp Tempilaq and the flame
was withdrawn.

See:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...34&postcount=8

Well, my 45-90 Starline cases require annealing -- immediately -- when using Black Powder
or the gas/soot leakage back around the case is horrendous. (Even Starline advises annealing
these cases when using BP)

Since the case geometry and mass is so different w/ these large straight walls, I went directly to using
650° Yellow Tempilaq -- inside the case neck --and again spun the cases by using a piece of cleaning
rod chucked in a drill w/ some masking tape wrapped around the end deep inside to give the case something
to grip while rotating.



The yellow contrast is very bright in the light beam I shine into the operating area, and when the
inside of the neck hits 650°, that yellow goes out like a lightbulb and the case is dropped onto a towel.

This is all great.... except the brass doesn't show the characteristic "annealed" color, nor does it feel
annealed in either the sizing die, the expander die... or when the bullet is seated. Just the opposite in fact.
If feels as stiff (or stiffer) than ever and exhibits characteristic blow-by soot when fired.

Any ideas (Uncle Nick/Brian/others) ?

Last edited by mehavey; August 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM.
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:28 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Sorry, you're way outside anything I know. I've never tried annealing.
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:44 AM   #3
SL1
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I can't offer experience with this type of annealing. But, it seems that the annealing EFFECT that you are looking for is not occurring at the temperature that you are using. So, you will need to use either a higher temperature or a longer time at the current temperature. But, longer time is not really feasible, because it is hard to HOLD the temperature with the setup you (and most of us) use.

I suggest that you use progressively higher temperature Tempilaq until you get the effect that you are looking for. I also suggest that you drop the cases into water so that there is no chance that the lower part of the case will get annealed AFTER the case is dropped onto a towel, due to conduction of the heat down the case.

You can get temperature indicating liquids and crayons that come in 50°F temperature increments here: http://www.mcmaster.com/#temperature...sticks/=iz2hj1 and other places as well.

Let us know what actually works.

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Old August 23, 2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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For the brief time you are at temperature (650) you are not annealing the brass. For that short of time you need to go much higher in temperature. A very good article that describes temperature for dwell time go here (about half way down).

I use a 650 degree Tempil stick and make my mark below the shoulder. By the time this region gets to 650, the neck is much hotter. You get the brass color change and the neck is much softer. From the linked article:

"The critical time and temperature at which the grain structure reforms into something suitable for case necks is 662 degrees (F) for some 15 minutes. A higher temperature, say from 750 to 800 degrees, will do the same job in a few seconds. If brass is allowed to reach temperatures higher than this (regardless of the time), it will be made irretrievably and irrevocably too soft."

Using a 650 degree indicator in the neck, just stops the heating too early given the short time at temperature necessary to prevent any softening of the brass near the head.

Last edited by jepp2; August 23, 2012 at 02:28 PM. Reason: correct wrong word
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Old August 23, 2012, 02:59 PM   #5
mehavey
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Quote:
"...case necks is 662 degrees (F) for some 15 minutes..."
Point well taken. I've an order into Midway for both 700 and 750 Tempilaq.
(750 is also what Giraud uses to set the timing on his annealing machine)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCWni2nNNeE
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Old August 23, 2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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I have found flame color to be the most helpfull.

You don't want any glowing of the case. Not dull red, orange or any other color. In fact you don't even want the flame to change from blue to orange.

This video is an example of too much heat. Despite nothing "glowing".




This is a video of what you want the process to look like. Flame stays the same color, even color/heat ring around the neck and the base is cool to the touch after annealing.

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Old August 23, 2012, 03:03 PM   #7
primerman
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I thought that the annealing process was to heat the brass neck/wall of the case and to drop the heated brass case into or knock over into water to cool the brass quickly. I thought heated brass being cooled quickly is what made the brass soft again. A pan of water and a hand torch is all I've ever seen used...
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Old August 23, 2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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The heat is what anneals, water doesn't do anything except make you wait for them to dry before loading.

I guess if you anneal improperly, setting them in water while you apply heat would keep you from annealing the base.
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Old August 24, 2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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I don't find that to be the case at all. Guess I'll stick with what works for me...
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Old August 24, 2012, 10:26 PM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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There's nothing wrong with dropping the brass in water, except the inconvenience of wet brass, but it does NOTHING to the actual annealing process except stop it.

It's not like steel. Brass doesn't care how fast it cools off.
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Old August 25, 2012, 05:56 AM   #11
F. Guffey
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Quote:
"...case necks is 662 degrees (F) for some 15 minutes..."



15 minutes! Oh, I get it, you caster/reloaders are exempt from the rules I am stuck with, for me “TIME IS A FACTOR”.

Anyhow, I make my own annealing equipment, then there is the one that claims he holds the case in his hand until it gets too hot to hold, in his video he starts the video while holding the case in his hand, then? The hand disappears.

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Old August 26, 2012, 02:06 AM   #12
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would dipping the case in molten lead anneal brass ?
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:05 AM   #13
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^^ YES
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:12 AM   #14
mehavey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEHavey
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEPP2
"...case necks is 662 degrees (F) for some 15 minutes..."
Point well taken. I've an order into Midway for both 700 and 750 Tempilaq.
Using Jepp's time/temp observation, the problem's handled in the interim until the 750 materials get here:
Watch for the exact 650°F Tempilaq melt point (yellow light goes out inside the case); continue for
one-thousand-one/one thousand-two count, ...and drop. Works very precisely on those big cases
where nothing else did.

Proof's in the firing: Neck sizing and expanding give correct feel each case, and no more huge gas leak/-
lengthy BP blowback back down entire case wall.

'Love it when a plan works out....

Last edited by mehavey; August 26, 2012 at 08:18 AM.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:38 AM   #15
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Actually, that is how I worked-out annealing my .30 Herett cases. I used some old range pick-up .30-30 cases (that I did not want to chance shooting) as guinea pigs. I chuck a Lee case trimmer holder in my electric drill and hold the case neck in a set position in a torch flame, with the drill spinning the case to get even heat distribution. Then I counted "seconds" with the old "one thousand and one, one thousand and two ..." before sticking the case neck in water. Using a variety of counts, I found what number gave me the anneal that I wanted.

Of course, you would not want to do that with hard-to-come-by brass like .45 Colt, .50-110 Winchester, etc., because you ruin quite a few before you get the best count. But, for the cases like .223, .308, etc. that seem to turn-up in droves at ranges, with many appearing unworthy of reloading anyway, that can be a cheap approach.

One thing that I always bothers me about this approach is that I don't seem to keep my count rate consistent over a lot of brass, even though I "calibrate" myself at the beginning of an annealing session. And, looking at a digital timer and then back a the case doesn't help me hold the case exactly where I want it in the flame.

I could make things more complicated by having an actual mechanical fixtrue to hold the drill, but we all know that slippery slope leads to one of those neat machines shown in the posts by jmorris.

I have always wanted to find the old metranome that I KNOW is somewhere in my Mom's attic, so that I could have an easy to use timer with sound "signals" that allowed me to not have to look away from the flame.

Oh well, maybe in some yard sale...

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Old August 26, 2012, 01:22 PM   #16
joneb
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Quote:
would dipping the case in molten lead anneal brass ?
Quote:
GP100man ^^ YES
How well does it work ?
How long does the case need to be in the lead ?
Would there be to much heat transfer to the case body and head ?

thanks
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:21 AM   #17
mehavey
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The 750°F Tempilaq arrived today. Pale blue and fairly thin compared to the white 475° solution.

Painted it inside the neck, let it dry, then put the MAP torch on full 'medium' to get fast heat now that I had a definite "switch-off" indicator.

Spun a half dozen cases up watching for when the blue light disappeared, dropped the case in a towel , and spun up the next one.

I FINALLY got that slight discoloration on the first inch of the case that indicated an annealed condition and
sizing/expanding confirmed the sought-for uniform feel. The Postells seated smoothly groove-by-groove.

Film at Eleven after shooting tomorrow.....
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:23 AM   #18
mehavey
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Film at Eleven:

I mentioned that the 750° annealing process left a veeeery subtle color shift on the brass -- hardly discernible.
That changed after firing/soaking/washing the cases -- which normally go dark, dark brownish from the BP/soap solution before tumbling
Now it's obvious:



That said, I also used these cases to re-test the compressed Swiss 1½ load posted earlier:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...41&postcount=1
but under a different Postell bullet -- one I cast from that troublesome Lyman mould in another previous post:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...83&postcount=1
only this time w/ a no-kidding Lyman#2 alloy and shot as-cast.

The result at 100-Yds in failing light this evening was OK:

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Old August 30, 2012, 06:36 AM   #19
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Everyone wants to make a huge project out of this .
I've mentioned the old Norma info on forums and it seems to be ignored --its too simple . They know what annealing is all about !! Put cases into a pan with water up near the shoulder . Heat with a propane torch till glowing red [not yellow] then tip into the water. Not a big deal at all !
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:55 AM   #20
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Maybe i do this wrong,but seems to work for me
2 torches facing each other,Flames hit each other ( just the blue flame) grab case with vise grip, from under the flame i come up just below neck,count to 5 ,pull from flame,count to 3,chuck in ice water. You get a very uniform discoloration just below neck. You can tell when you chamfer them if you did good or not. Is it right?? Lord knows,but i do get 15 reloads out of my 308 cases,and i usually throw them away due to primer pocket wear. I full length size also all the time. Cut a few open at 12 reloads and they still looked good for case uniformity. There was some narrowing of the base,but not enough to cause concern. I do not shoot max loads or even close. 308 and 175gn i shoot at around 2540fps. Im sure that has a lot to do with it.
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:59 AM   #21
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Sorry, but both I and the early Springfield arsenal low-number receiver forgers found the eyeball technique to be at best hit or miss art -- and miss in this case (no pun intended) at a buck a whack and w/ very different case mass/geometry is something I'd like to make a science.

Once established, the science process goes like clockwork.
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